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The Politics of InterpretationIdeology, Professionalism, and the Study of Literature$
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Patrick Colm Hogan

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780195062724

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195062724.001.0001

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Language, Gender, and Reason: A Critical Analysis of Some Feminisms of Difference

Language, Gender, and Reason: A Critical Analysis of Some Feminisms of Difference

Chapter:
(p.96) 3 Language, Gender, and Reason: A Critical Analysis of Some Feminisms of Difference
Source:
The Politics of Interpretation
Author(s):

Patrick Colm Hogan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195062724.003.0003

Undoubtedly, the most influential challenge to the sort of political interpretation proposed above—with its emphasis on rational inference and empirical enquiry and its downplaying of language as a determinative entity—is the recent wave of “new French feminisms,” prominently those of Luce Irigaray and Helene Cixous. Developed out of a critique of Lacanian “phallocentrism,” while maintaining many of the presuppositions of the Lacanian position, the writings of both Irigaray and Cixous oppose the ordinary inferential and empirical principles of natural science as patriarchal and locate patriarchal oppression and phallocentrism fundamentally in these principles as well as in the system of language. This chapter argues that these claims are very wrong—and, if seriously acted upon, would be very harmful. It seeks to explicate and criticize some of the relevant theses of these and related thinkers.

Keywords:   feminism, gender, Luce Irigaray, Helene Cixous

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